Southcorp's run was bound to end and in the last couple of weeks the Australian wine maker has slipped in share price from about A$8.30 to $7.58.

just-drinks revealed that Southcorp had become the world's most expensive wine play but even as the company, whose brands include the renowned Penfolds, was enjoying the status the slide had begun.

Analysts have been worried for some time about the company's US exposure (about 35% of earnings) and following the September 11 terrorist attacks and slow down in the economy Southcorp could become one of the many casualties.

Salomon Smith Barney has downgraded earnings forecasts by 2% for 2002 and 2003 as a result.

Meanwhile rumours about BRL Hardy's future continue to do the rounds spurred by the low level of the Australian dollar. The Australian Financial Review reports that Allied Domecq chief executive Philip Bowman was in the country two weeks ago before hopping the Tasman to oversee his new NZ$1bn acquisition, Montana Wines. Industry followers are wondering if he could be tempted to splash out again on BRL before it gets too expensive?

The World Market for Wine 2001